Notes 11/13 (backup)

Topics we should hit on in E-Portfolio

  • Literacy
  • D/discourse
  • Context
  • Genre
  • Culture
  • Power
  • Technology
  • Language
  • Learning v Acquisition
  • Conventions of appropriateness
  • Modes
  • Academic D/discourses (communities)
  • Textual media


Abstract ideas we should explore and emulate through the e-portfolio:

  • No set way to communicate
  • No formula for writing
  • Literacy is contextual (varies with audience)
  • Grammar is a set of rules that people agree on.
  • Grammar is contextual and evolving with time
  • Writing and composition is fluid


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Literacy Inquiry


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Differentiating Genre Characterization

Overall, I feel like I understand genre. Genre is every way we interact with others, almost like a Discourse. I feel like Genre, however, attempts to categorize Discourses from their functions socially, rhetorically, dynamically, historically, culturally, situationally and ideologically.

Our class has covered different types of genre many different avenues, one of which is what I am doing right now. I am writing a constructed response to an academic piece on genre theory, something I could not do very well (if at all) at the beginning of the semester. Through social interaction in classroom discussion, rhetorical discipline in classroom discussion, dynamic structure of our reading responses (how we challenge the ideas presented in the academic pieces), historically (building off of techniques of responses from our past), as a culture from the usage of wordpress and our classroom forum, situation varying with context from our readings, and ideological influence (ourselves personified through our views).

What I don’t understand about genre and the genre theories is how some of the characterizations don’t clash with each other. How does social characterization differ from cultural characterization enough to warrant a whole new characterization? Isn’t socialization an inherit part of culture? Can the same not be said about situation?

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Facilitation 11/4

Facilitation 11/4

Literacy & Technology

Technology impacting education

  • We use technology to help us learn using more of the senses
  • Technology has made information easier to obtain
  • Less of an emphasis on memorization
  • Communications have been revolutionized and made easier, yet less personal
  • Technology use by country depends on a lot of variables, mostly economic-based.

Technology by Age


  • Clubs/Stone Tools
  • Fire
  • Cave Art


  • Telescope
  • Submarines
  • Blood Transfusion


  • Cotton Gin
  • Steam engine
  • Electricity
  • Odometer


  • Horse Carriage
  • Oil Lamps
  • Cast-iron
  • Industrial Revolution


  • Radio
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Cell-phones


  • Social Media
  • Internet based media
  • Computer based technology
  • Hybrid Cars
  • Renewable Energy
  • LED Lighting
  • Kuereg Coffee Machine
  • Digital Music
  • Stylus
  • Touch Screen


  • Are electronic technology societies better off than societies that don’t have access to electronic technology?

This question depends heavily on how one would define “better off.” At one hand, of course electronic technology is current and progressive, so any society that utilizes it is considered “advanced.” On another hand, societies with economies that are mostly lower and upper class (no middle class) will not be able to support assets with electronic technology.

Societies with electronic technology are wealthier than those who don’t, but in the end “better off” varies with societal values, so there is no yes/no answer to this question. 

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Inquiry Draft 1

Literacy Inquiry

My concern about my writing topic is that I write too much, and maybe need to narrow down to one topic of literacy. Also, my ending is weak.

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    • Prompt: How did you react to the author’s text? What kind of pressure do you put on yourself when you write? What are your writing rituals? Are your writing rituals effective?

The author’s text did a good job of assuring the audience of the standard drafting process for literary compositions through past experiences and quite a bit of ironic humor. This was a refreshing piece compared to some of our past readings in its style and message.

My writing rituals draft, but in a different way. I generally go paragraph by paragraph in terms of drafting. I will generally write out a paragraph as I go, letting the paragraph go where it wants. After I am initially satisfied that I have covered everything I want to cover in a paragraph, I edit and revise the paragraph. After the first revision, I move on to the next paragraph sequentially until I am “done” with the piece I am writing. After this, my next step is to read the entire text as a flowing piece of literature. If I am satisfied with how the piece flows, I submit the piece. If I am not, I make the necessary changes to make sure my writing sounds fluid and intelligent, from taking out/combining paragraphs, to transitional periods, etc.  

I have always thought of myself to be an effective writer for most any task I am faced with, and my track record reflects this. On the SAT I received a score of 730 on the writing section and have generally done well in English classes of the past. In a college English class, such as this one, I must keep my mind open to the drafting method of writing editing, as the rules of the game have changed since high school and I must adapt with them in order to obtain success. 

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Notes 10/21

Technologically Literate

  • How to use
    • Using technology constructively
    • Solve problems
    • How it works
    • Basic understanding
      • News/current events
      • Communication
      • Newer forms of technology
      • Adaptation


  • The reasons we do the things we are, based on who we are

Technological Context

  • Literacy in technology is variable based upon context

Am I Technologically Literate?

  • There are tools you must have when adapting to new technology, based on your personal context with similar technology.
  • The ability to decipher between true media and distorted media that you consume online. 
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Notes 10/16

Group Facilitation 10/16/13


  • Appropriate-
    • Depends on setting
    • Casually formal
    • Focus
    • Inappropriate-
      • Drugs, alcohol
      • Profanity
      • Appropriate dialect


  • Appropriate-
    • Serious
    • Respectful
    • Straight to the point
    • Inappropriate-
      • Hoodrat
      • Sloppy
      • Emotional


  • Appropriate-
    • Informative of your life
    • Sports
    • School
    • Money
    • Inappropriate-
      • Stealing money
      • Cursing
      • Disrespect


  • Appropriate-
    • Most anything
    • Inappropriate-
      • Hurting their feelings
      • Gossiping about them

Writing through community


  • Steps
  • Information
  • Data


  • Important figures/people
  • Factual
  • Important events and dates


  • Analytical
  • Themes
  • Focus on grammar and mechanics


How does your behavior change based on who you are around?

I have many different Discourses I am a part of, and most of the different Discourses I am a part of demand a different type of language usage to be accepted.

The family Discourse was explored by the facilitation group, I will describe it as it applies to my life. When I go home and talk to my parents, I am not expected to use a fully professional language etiquette, but at the same time I can’t talk like I talk to my college friends. A semi-casual language is appropriate with behavior that doesn’t suggest anything else than academic excellence here at UNC Charlotte.

When I go to a job interview, my language and behavior switches from “friend-talk” to a fully professional mode. Everything is extremely complimentary and respectful of the person who is interviewing me, as well as the institution I hope to become a part of.

We change our behaviors in our different Discourses because we wish to acquire success in the said different Discourses. Without our ability to differentiate between Discourses, we fail as members of the Discourse and in turn are not acceptable.


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Me vs Technology: The Saga Continues

“’Technological Literacy is the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology’ (Gallop Poll, 2004, p. 1). ‘Technological literacy encompasses three interdependent dimensions: (1) knowledge, (2) ways of thinking and acting; and (3) capabilities’ (Technically Speaking, 2006, p.1).” –Ball State University Curriculum

“To access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in knowledge society.” –Iowa Department of Education


As long as literacy has been thrown around in the English language, it has been attempted to be defined. As we all know by now, this task is not entirely possible, as literacy is an abstract noun like love, hate, envy, joy, etc. And with the emergence of technology shaping our everyday lives with smartphones, tablets, notebooks, etc., keeping up with technology and being “technologically literate” is quite literally a full-time job in today’s American society.  


So of course, with a new form of literacy there will be new forms of definitions from different intellectual institutions around the globe, with two important excerpts quoted above attempting to define technology literacy and literacy. But what does it really mean to be technologically literate?


It seems most define being technologically literate as keeping up with the latest technology, being able to understand and use the said technology, being able to use technology in constructive ways, and, above all, mastering the technology, not letting the technology master you.


There have been times in my life where I had felt like the technology I was using was getting the better of me, like I didn’t understand the technology enough to utilize it to its fullest extent. It’s not a good feeling, it’s a feeling of ignorance and impotence (to me at least).


A specific example of this from my own life, if I can bring you into the end of this past summer. I had prepared a montage summarizing me and my friend’s senior year and quite frankly was ready to show it off. Everyone gathered in a room with a nice TV and I had assumed the girl had an xbox or ps3 I could play the movie on, since I had burned the dvd like a usb, with files instead of one movie. Of course, she had a wii, which made things very, very hard. She suggested just putting my laptop on the table and everyone crowding in to watch, I scoffed. I would figure out a way to play this movie dammit, I had spent to long preparing this.


So I try to use her mac to burn a dvd, but that didn’t work as the extra dvd I brought was not blank. I asked her if she had an HDMI cable and she kind of gave me this look that could have been mistaken with the look someone would give to someone who had just had a giant tarantula land on his/her head. I then gave her a look that could be comparable to a look one would give someone who just failed the high school class “Success 101.”


She then led me to a room with a box of old computer hardware, through my sifting and searching, I eventually stumbled upon an old RGBV cable that I could use on my computer to output the video and audio. My technical problem solved at last! Or so I thought.


When I went to connect the RGBV cable from my computer output to the tv input, the tv gave a message that said “resolution not supported.” By now I was questioning the reality of the dimension I was living in, but a quick google search yielded that I had to change the resolution settings on my computer to “lowest.” Sweet!


So I finally get the video playing, and everything seems great, finally, except for one thing; audio. The audio is only being pumped through my measly laptop speakers, and given that this was a montage, the music sets the mood and there was practically no music. With some quick thinking, I go out to my car, retrieve my auxillary cable, take the girls iHome from her garage, come back to the room, plug in my laptop headphone jack into the iHome and finally! I have all aspects of this presentation working beautifully (roughly 70 minutes later J)!


I feel like my real-life example encompasses most, if not all, aspects of being technologically literate. I was able to keep up with the technological history (utilizing the outdated RGBV cable), being able to understand and use the said technology (70 minutes of troubleshooting), being able to use technology in constructive ways (I took random pieces of technology from around her house and my possesions to create a multimedia presentation), and, above all, in the end I mastered the technology, I did not letting the technology master me.



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The Key to Power

acedemic community reading Discourse Communities

Acquiring and Maintaining Membership of Discourse Communities: The Key to Power

Today’s reading, “Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice” by Ann M Johns explores discourse communities and how they are structurally sound with different levels of conventions and authority.

The piece first describes how humans become members of and act within their respective communities of practice. She states that there are two ways you become part of a discourse community, one is either born into a community that dictates how you operate at a fundamental level (religious, tribal, social, economic). I relate this to previous readings in this is basically a primary Discourse, one is born into a culture and this is their cultural starting point before diffusion into other discourses, or discourse communities explored in this current piece.

Other communities one may join, one is chosen into by either volunteering or being selected. Ann cites examples of chosen into communities from cultural, political, and recreational interests. Members can be either active or inactive, with the communal discourses evolving with active member’s interests. She also points out that individuals almost always are parts many different discourse communities at the same time. We can relate this to ideas of past readings describing secondary discourses, and how they diffuse with each other along with one’s primary discourse.

The next part of the reading goes into depth of professional discourses. Professional discourses, she describes, can be categorized into 5 different professions: academics, musicians, artists, physicians, and athletes. Within these professional discourses there are values, practices, and conventions that must be followed to maintain membership. Ann goes in depth in describing the academic discourse values, rules, and practices as an example for a discourse community. She also goes into the forces that work against a shared community that make communities complex and varied. These forces are outlined as costs of affiliation, issues of authority, conventions and anticonventions, and dialogue and critique. I view these things as competitive components of a discourse community that push the envelope to evolve them to improve all aspects of a community.

In summarization of the piece, it is clear that literacy within a community (especially professional) is hard earned and even harder maintained. Power is gained through knowledge, and through following conventions and accepting and trusting authority within a community, you have power in the hierarchal world of communities, and in turn the world.

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